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Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

The UK aims to develop an education service that provides equality of opportunity and high achievement for all children and young people.

Information gathered from the school census on pupils with special educational needs (SEN) shows that numbers are increasing and there are currently 1,276,215 pupils with SEN; 14.6% of the total pupil population in schools.

According to UCAS, nearly 40,000 students with a declared disability took up undergraduate places at University in 2016 – a record and numbers are expected to climb further.  11% of students at Manchester University have disabilities.

The term Special educational needs (SEN) covers the entire spectrum, including physical disabilities, moderate learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), emotional and social difficulties, and such diverse conditions as autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Institutions offer support which can be considered in these categories:


  • Teaching adjustments
  • Human support (non-medical help)
  • Reasonable adjustments to the built environment
  • IT equipment and study technology
  • Travel between study sites
  • Examinations and assessments
  • Libraries

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An Optimal Education Space

The classroom or lecture theatre environment can have a significant impact on integration and learning outcomes.

Ferco design and manufacture fixed seating solutions which are suitable for use by students with additional needs. This combination of experience and design optimises the learning environment with seating and desking that creates new possibilities and actively helps to solve practical problems.

The products offer value for money by being both safe and durable in sometimes challenging environments as well as highly flexible in layout.

Catherine Mulley, Director at Pozzoni Architecture, has looked at how good building design can positively impact the wellbeing of all who use it. Catherine said “Architecture has a pivotal role to play in how our minds and bodies respond to our surroundings and, with education such a key part of life, it’s a sector in which good design is paramount’

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Education Seating Products

FT10 Wrimatic 

The FT10 Wrimatic™ is a market-leading product, which incorporates a lecture theatre style seat with an integrated A3 Wrimatic tablet. Available in both standard and high backed versions this seat has been designed for superior ergonomic and posture support.

Suitable for radial and straight configurations, it is available with the option of integrated power and data points.

The integrated A3 Wrimatic tablet is the most robust tablet on the market having being tested to a load bearing of 240KG. Perfect for challenging environments, it stows neatly when not in use and operates in one continuous opening movement thanks to its unique triangular joint; a feature designed using advanced aeronautical and engineering technology.

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ARC One Turn & Learn 

The popular ARC One Turn & Learn lecture theatre seat had been adapted to deliver turn and learn functions with either an integrated A3 Wrimatic™ tablet or a fixed writing ledge.

The ARC lecture chair is ergonomically shaped with a contoured back and this range focuses particular attention on lumbar support and correct posture. The ARC is virtually maintenance free, durable and versatile.

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These lecture seats will rotate through 360 degrees to enable collaborative learning and sharing, whilst allowing students the possibility to move and fidget whilst remaining seated. It enables group and peer work without vacating the seat position and can aid lip-reading as hearing impaired students can follow a lecturer as they move around a room.

These products can be coupled with fixed desking in a range of finishes, including a whiteboard finish. The whiteboard desktop provides an additional surface for collaborative group work, more informal teaching or free time.


Disabled Access Spaces

Ferco is able to design learning spaces which incorporate Designated Disabled Access spaces, which can incorporate fixed desking or adjustable height Wrimatic™ tablets.

In an FT10 installation, the end of row armrests can be manufactured to swing out on a gate-like mechanism providing inclusive access to the seats for ambulant disabled students.

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Colours in the Classroom Learning Environment

While the impact of colour is often overlooked, colour is an inseparable part of our everyday lives.

The key to creating an environment conducive to learning in a classroom is to not over-stimulate learners. All of Ferco’s fixed-seating products are highly customisable and can be upholstered in a wide range of hard-wearing fabrics or faux leathers with removable seat covers for ease of cleaning.

Associated desking is available in a wide selection of finishes, including gloss, wood and metal effects and coloured high-density melamine.


Quality and Safety

Our seating complies with all applicable legal, statutory, regulatory and occupational health and safety requirements, and carry a worldwide five-year manufacturer’s warranty.

We conduct rigorous tests throughout our research and product development process to ensure the safety and quality of our seating. Key areas Ferco assess each product in their seating ranges:


  • Safety - areas such as sharp edges and entrapment points in folding mechanisms
  • Stability – making sure a seat won’t topple if you lean back or sideways in it
  • Strength – ability to withstand normal use loads, as well as foreseeable misuse, such as standing on a seat
  • Durability – assessing the performance of the seat over its lifetime
  • Flammability – assessing the ability to withstand or extinguish various ignition sources


A Sense of Partnership

Get in touch with Ferco Seating today to discuss the design of your lecture theatre seating.

We offer a one-stop solution for all fixed seating requirements, working with architects from their initial design stages by providing practical support in the form of drawings and dimension, to the manufacturing and installation – attending site visits and meetings.


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In the course of this research we came across a website www.disabledgo.com , a superb resource which has detailed information on each university and the accessibility of its libraries, student union, lecture halls etc., with in-depth detail on aspects such as the measurements of doorways, how heavy the doors are, where the disabled toilets are and what side transfer they have.


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